A House committee has voted to cut taxes for the elderly. The bill that passed the House Ways and Means Committee would eliminate state income taxes on pension and Social Security income within five years. Representative Jamie Van Fossen, a republican from Davenport, says he doesn’t want to give older Iowans another reason to move out of state. Van Fossen says Illinois doesn’t charge taxes on pensions, and he’s concerned that a lot of Quad City-area residents are moving across the border to escape Iowa taxes on their pension income. And Van Fossen says it’s unfair to tax Social Security benefits. “It’s letting people keep more of their own money,” Van Fossen says. But some committee members opposed the move. Representative Don Shoultz, a democrat from Waterloo, says it doesn’t make sense to erase state taxes for pensioners and Social Security recipients. Shoultz says every one — regardless of age, race or sex — should be taxed equally. He says Iowans have rejected the idea of letting certain groups — because of their age — get tax breaks other Iowans aren’t entitled to. “To me, if you want to be a serious and responsible legislator, you’re not playing games and trying to curry the favor of a certain segment of the population,” Shoultz says. “You treat all the population the same.” The bill now goes before the full, 100-member House for consideration.
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